DON’T FEAR THE INNKEEPER

Afraid of the Cube Hotel? Don’t be.

Hotel owner Louis Si- mard is a riddle wrapped in a mystery like a Rubik’s Cube. PHOTO PETER WORDEN

 

>> BY PETERWORDEN

Ever watch the 1997 horror film the Cube? It’s the one where everyone is imprisoned in a gigantic, mechanized cube booby-trapped with flamethrowers and razor wire trying to escape, but instead die horrible, horrible deaths.

The Cube Hotel in Revelstoke is nothing like that.

But according to hotelier Louis-Marc Simard, if you listen to the reviews some guests leave on sites like Booking.com, they’d have you believe it is.

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The Cube Hotel is nothing like the horror film the Cube horror movie (above). PHOTO: IMDB.


“There’s no classification for what this place is I don’t know what it is,” says Simard.


The Cube Hotel, you see, combines the cleanliness and character of a boutique hotel with the communal vibe of a hostel. But certain online badmouthers consider it the worst of both worlds—either an overpriced hostel or an underwhelming hotel.

“There’s no classification for what this place is I don’t know what it is,” says Simard.

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OK, so guests need to venture wa-a-a-a-y out into the hallway to make use of a shared shower. But they also meet fellow travelers in common spaces and don’t pay high-end hotel prices.

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In that way, Simard says the Cube challenges the notion of a hotel as a palace in our society—one with a huge pool and marble front desk where they call you by your name (“‘Good evening, Mister…’ he playacts) and flagship hotels where you pay three times more than the Cube but find a little chocolate on your pillow.

“It’s not in my philosophy,” he says. “I’m selling you a room not a dream. And you can quote me on that.”

BUILDING A BETTER BOX

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Louis parts his glasses magnetically at the bridge of his nose. He explains how the Cube Hotel/Hostel/Whatchamacallit was originally a grey cinderblock box of a hardware store.

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Louis gutted it, sprayed foam insulation that was “damn expensive” and turned it into a modern gem of building, good enough to be included in the New York Times—the New York TIMES, people! (Take that Booking.com)

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A sink in the bedroom?—Mon dieu! Showers in the hallway?—sacrament! People get hung up on showers being in the hallway, Simard explains. “It says everywhere—online, check-in—but people still get caught off guard.” PHOTOS PETER WORDEN


But he wasn’t going for any sort of green certification. He simply wanted to recycle a building that was crap and turn it into a great and stylish place for up to 50 people to stay in Revelstoke.

“Now that’s my idea of efficient,” he says. “We adapt to it.”


Call Louis and book a room today. Mention this ad and he’ll put a chocolate on your pillow.* (250) 837 4086…

…*must supply own chocolate.

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